Aixois Coffee Bar

Kansas City, Missouri

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I left Coffee Girls by ten in the morning on a Sunday having woken up in Atlanta, flown to KC, abstaining from breakfast or beverage to give it up to the Coffee Girls. It was an idyllic morning but one rushed by the unseen force that frivolously pointless travel exerts on time. The absence of itinerary can either be languid or voracious. Foolishly I let the more manic of the toxins infect my brain on the desolate plateaux of this voyage bouncing from here to there, desperate to get to the next place however godforsaken and bleak I knew it would be. Agitated by the sun pounding me through the storefront of Coffee Girls I set controls for the Nelson Atkins, my only real primary for the sad orbits of the maroon rental car. As these things went, mapless, as always, I was lost below UMKC and found myself motoring in circles around Aixois debating a landing.

Aixois Coffee Bar

Recognizing on the third lap that I had nowhere to be and that I most likely would never see this place again, and thoroughly titillated by its name, I dropped in for a paper cup and a chill. Only on a useless junket could a double-header like this make sense and only such a frivolous and redundant occupation as coffee-shop-crawling could characterize a trip as being so useless. I didn’t want coffee in the August heat but filled a paper cup from the pumping station and regarded the empty expanse of Aixois that must have been a restaurant. It felt like a truckstop with a vinyl clad rope strung in front of the portal leading from the shower rooms to the Stuckey’s, which was closed while grease-soaked ceiling tiles were being picked out by gloved hands and crumbled into rubbish hoppers or over drifts of sweeping compound, except of course it was all dark wood, mirrors, white linens, a truckstop for turned-up collars and girls named Fifi or Harriet. Whatever the atmosphere’s true inclination it seemed to bar me and I took my paper cup to the patio.

Aixois Coffee Bar

“Marne is leaving for Wellesley this week. I told her father he had to drive her there. You know I don’t know how to drive her Mini.” “I know!” “But he comes up with one of his typical bullshit outs.” “What this time?” “Something about Cheryl needing him to be home with Carson while she is in Salina seeing to her father’s affairs.” “Cheryl doesn’t care about her father!” “I know! She doesn’t care about anyone. Not that I care that Chase has thrown his life away with her. I haven’t cared about him for a long time.” “I know, right?” “But it just chaps my butt to see her dropping this on him, which then drops on me. It’s as if we never split up!” “So what do you do?” “Well we just have to fly Marne up. Chase will have to miss the tournament next week to get that car to her.” “How will she get settled, I mean shop and get her stuff set up?” “Well you know that wouldn’t have fit in the Mini anyway.” “Totally.” “So we are shopping tomorrow and we will box it up and ship it. A lot of the girls there do that. She can get sheets and towels and curtains in her luggage of course.” “Right.” “Damn Chase.” “What?” “He promised to see her before she left to give her money to buy clothes in Boston for school.” “That girl is set!” “I wish he would give me some money!” “I know, right! Girl!”

Aixois Coffee Bar

Aixois Coffee Bar

White and ghostly, gilt and decrepit, people disappear, my feet and I, on seatbacks, on pedals, on and on, mania turns to desolation. Silence, silence in my head, silence in between skin and hair, silence behind glass, silence of the highway, silence of the Sunday downtown, on the road soon enough; I knew that awful checkerboard monstrosity was a Federal Building from the airplane.

Aixois Coffee Bar


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Aixois Coffee Bar

251 East 55th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64113
http://www.aixois.com/coffeebar.html


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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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